King Lear

King Lear Films

We are blessed with eleven film versions of King Lear (including the announced release of the McKellen film).  While we might say that some are better than others, each has value and interest.  Indeed, a more useful distinction might be between those taking a conventional approach to the play compared to those veering into experimental […]

About King Lear on Great Performances Online

“It is we who paint the leaves” This King Lear section of Great Performances Online provides a wide range of resources for appreciating King Lear, as well as a living means by which the play may be actively and creatively engaged.  The resources include: Ian McKellen’s full film (after 25 March); reviews of all other […]

Background on King Lear

Shakespeare’s Sources As was his general habit, Shakespeare borrowed his two plots from previous sources. Holinshed reported in his Chronicles (1577) a story that dates back as far as Geoffrey of Monmouth (1136) in which a supposedly real King Leir who ruled England around 800 BC divides his kingdom between two of his daughters, disowning […]

Background on Shakespeare

A Door Into the World of King Lear.  Are we inside or out? (from Shakespeare Shakespeare was born around 23 April 1564 at Stratford-on-Avon. He moved a hundred miles away to London in his early twenties, where he wrote 37 or 38 extant plays and some poetry that has established him as the finest […]